MBA Interviews

What Do B-schools Look for When They Interview You? – The 3 C’s

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Welcome to this week’s edition of Wednesday Wisdom and one question that I’m going to be answering today is – What do B-schools really look for when they are trying to interview you? This is the time when a lot of people who have sent in their applications, would have started receiving their interview calls.

So remember these 3 things whenever you think of an interview :

A. Content 

Does this person know what he is talking about? Make sure you go through each and every thing that you have written in your application. Make sure that you have a good idea – for example if you say that you want to get into Finance, post MBA, then pretty much you should be able to answer questions such as,
“What do you think will happen if the interest rates were to go up?” or,
“Why do you think the Rupee slipped against the Dollar?”.
So these are the things that you need to know. If you say Product Management they could ask you questions, again not very theoretical questions but things like,
“Tell me a product feature that you like in say Google.” or
“Tell me a product company that you think has a very bright future.”
They want to make sure that you know your stuff.

B. Communication

Second thing apart from content is communication. How well are you able to express your ideas. You want to focus on body language, you want to focus on tone, clarity, clarity of speech and ensuring that your answer comes out as clearly, as crisply as possible. One suggestion that I have for this is please go back again to your application and prepare for some standard questions like,
“Why do you want to do an MBA?
“What brings you here?”
“Why this particular school?”
“Tell me an achievement that you are proud of?”
“Tell me what are your weaknesses?”
“What do you want to do post MBA?”
“Tell me something about yourself?”
– Typically many interviews start that way. Make sure you are very clear in your communication.

C. Clarity

When you look at clarity, they are really looking at clarity of vision and specifically looking at what you want to take away from B-school, what is it that you want in life. The tip over here is be yourself. Don’t try to be someone you are not. For example if they ask you what you want to do post your MBA, be very clear, say you want to get into Consulting, you need to be able to say,
“This is what I want to do.”,
“I’m very clear this is how a school such as ISB is going to help me.”,
Be genuine, don’t try to sound confused. If you don’t know something be open, say,
“I don’t know but I can hazard a guess.”
“I can still try, I can attempt this”,
but don’t try to get caught in your own tangle.
For example there are people who have mentioned adventure sports in their profile which they have attempted once, like bungee jumping. But if you have done it only once, there is only so much you can know. So you kind of start digging your own hole. Be very clear and specific in what you talk.

These are the 3 tips that I had – Content, Communication and Clarity. I hope it was useful & I hope to catch you next week.


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